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Ex-Mzuzu mayor sues city council

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By Mandy Pondani:

KADAM’MANJA—He was the boss

Mzuzu City Council (MCC) former mayor, William Mkandawire, has dragged the council to the Industrial Relations Court for alleged breach of conditions of service for the mayoral office during his tenure.

In the court documents The Daily Times has seen, Mkandawire accuses MCC of failing to provide his office a replacement of motor vehicle when the one provided was in-and-out of garages.

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He is in, return, demanding compensation close to K18 million.

Under Clause 5.3 of the Conditions of Service for ward councillors, a mayor is entitled to a chauffeur-driven car provided by the council.

During his first term of office, Mkandawire was provided with a vehicle registration number MZ 2317, which according to media reports, was most of the times at the garage for rapairing.

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“During the periods that the vehicle was in the garage, the respondent used to breach its obligation under the Conditions of Service to ensure that the Applicant had a motor vehicle for his use, as a result of which the Applicant was compelled to use his own motor vehicle for the Respondent’s business for which he seeks compensation before this court,” the statement of claim reads.

Through his lawyer George Kadzipatike, Mkandawire alleges that he used his own motor vehicle for 15 months during his second term of mayoral office at a fixed daily rate of K30,000 about 28 days in a month.

He is also claiming mileage covered by the vehicle, derived from the 250 litres of fuel which he was being given even when the council was aware that he had no motor vehicle at a rate of K200 per kilometre.

The former mayor, who flopped in the parliamentary race for the city on an independent ticket, said he used to cover 1,785.71 kilometres in a month for the said 15 months.

“The Applicant claims K12,600,000 for the use of the vehicle for 15 months when the respondent was unable to provide him with a motor vehicle as per Conditions of Service and further claims the sum of K5,357,130 for the mileage covered by the vehicle during the said 15 months. In total, the Applicant claims K17, 957,130,” the statement of claim reads.

Asked on the matter, Mkandawire refused to comment referring us to Kadzipatike who confirmed the action in a telephone interview.

MCC Chief Executive Officer, McCloud Kadam’manja, said answers on the matter lie with Mkandawire since he was the boss.

“He was the boss and is in the best position to explain most of these things,” Kadam’manja said.

The Daily Times understands that at the beginning of Mkandawire’s second term, MCC committed to purchasing a mayoral vehicle but Mkandawire offered that his then deputy Fraser Chunga be offered first since he did not have a personal vehicle to use when discharging duties.

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